A polydimethylsiloxane microfluidic device composed of a single microchannel with a thin flexible layer present over a short length along one side of the channel was fabricated and modelled in order to investigate the complex fluid-structure interaction that arises between a flowing fluid and a deformable wall. Experimental measurements of thin layer deformation and pressure drop are compared with predictions of two- and three-dimensional computational models that numerically solve the coupled set of equations governing both the elasticity of the thin layer and the fluid. It is shown that the two-dimensional model, which assumes the flexible thin layer comprises an infinitely wide elastic beam of finite thickness, reasonably approximates a three-dimensional model, and is in excellent agreement with experimental observations of the thin layer profile when the width of the thin layer is beyond a critical value, roughly twice the length of the thin layer.

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